These essential exercises can help to realign your body after birth, provide stamina, and increase strength. Remember:
- Protect Yourself
- Do Not Overreach Your Abilities
- You are Responsible for Your Body
Constructive Rest Position
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor a comfortable distance from your buttocks
- If needed, place a pillow under the back of your head
- Fold arms over your chest, or rest hands on the abdomen
- Rest and breath slowly, letting the back of your torso melt into the floor
- In this position, the pull of gravity assists in relaxation of muscles and allows bones to realign in a non-pregnant posture. Rest here 10 to 20 minutes, while baby sleeps.
While You Are Nursing
- WHEN SEATED place pillows under the baby to bring her/him to the breast; this way your shoulders do not have the strain of the baby’s weight and your hands are free to interact with the baby
- LYING ON YOUR SIDE bring the baby to the breast
- AFTER VIGOROUS EXERCISE your milk may contain lactic acid, which some babies object to, so express milk before you exercise to give to the baby afterwards
Total Body Stretch
- Stand with feet together, then stretch one foot back
- Press back heel into the ground, bend front knee and lean forward slightly
- Put palms of hands together and stretch them forward
- Lengthen the line from the finger tips to the back heel
- Breath in and out 3 times, then slowly return to upright and do the other side
Cardio, including stroller aerobics
Cardio, or aerobic exercise, is the source of many of the benefits of exercise during the childbearing year. Burning fat and providing new moms with the energy and endurance to enjoy parenting are two ways cardio can be a major plus!
C-Curves™ or Hiss/Compress Exercises
Following birth, the C-curve exercise is critical for deep abdominal strength and low back support. In case of a cesarean, wait 2 weeks before trying this.
- Sitting upright, inhale.
- Exhale and compress the deep abdominals, making the shape of the letter “C.”
- Return to upright.
- Repeat 8 or 10 times.
Also, check for diastasis recti, or separation of the rectus abdominal muscles. Seek the assistance of a qualified pre/postnatal instructor.
Interacting with your baby on the floor is a challenge. Consult Take A Class to find an instructor to help you meet your goals.
Kegels (refer to pregnancy exercise tips)
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